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Rising actor found dead amid conflicting reports over what happened

By Anna Liesowska
25 May 2015

Police say he hanged himself but his grieving wife does not believe he would take his own life.

According to local police, the 25-year-old committed suicide but his grieving wife, Viktoria, does not believe the official explanation and is suspicious about the chain of events. Picture: Viktoria Lyapustina

Mystery surrounds the death of a promising young actor found hanged a day after going missing 200km from his home. Father-of-one Danil Lyapustin, who starred with the Krasny Fakel theatre in Novosibirsk, was found dead on a bridge in the city of Barnaul on Thursday evening.

According to local police, the 25-year-old committed suicide but his grieving wife, Viktoria, does not believe the official explanation and is suspicious about the chain of events.

What has confused his family is that he went missing after saying he was going to a supermarket on his way home from an evening performance at the theatre.

A day later he was found in Barnaul, having been detained by police at the train station for being drunk and smoking in an unauthorised area. He was then released, only for his body to be found hanging from a bridge six hours later.

Viktoria, 27, said: 'I do not believe it was suicide, because he did not have any reason to do that. I am absolutely sure that he had no enemies - he is absolutely a non-confrontational person and he always saw only the positives in everybody.

'I could sit down and cry, and he would bring me out of this state because he was such a bright personality. Nobody who knew him could say anything bad about him.'

Danil is said to have called his wife at 9.30pm last Wednesday, May 20, telling her he was on his way home and asking if she needed anything from the supermarket. His home is close to the theatre so when he did not arrive after 40 minutes she began to worry. At first he did not answer his mobile phone, then it was turned off. As he had never acted in such a way before, she called police and asked friends if they had any idea where he might be.

Danil Lyapustin


Danil Lyapustin

'In our theatre, there was no actor with more positive personal characteristics and family life than him. His career was on the up this season and one after another he began to get the big roles and played them brilliantly.' Pictures: Danil Lyapustin, Krasny Fakel

At 2pm the next day, Viktoria received a call from police to say her husband was in Barnaul. Officers who had detained him for his drunken behaviour noticed he was on a wanted list, having been reported missing.

Danil said he had lost his mobile phone, and borrowed a phone to speak to his wife. 'Did you really think I was lost?' he told her, before the conversation ended.

He told police he had come to Barnaul to meet actor friends and now planned to go home, before instructing officers to drop the missing person’s inquiry as he was not lost.

Police released him from custody at 3pm on Thursday, but his body was found six hours later. His bag pack with documents and a change of clothes was nearby. There was also a supposed suicide note on his body saying: 'There is no one to blame in my death. Do not suffer and do not worry.'

His wife insists he does not have any friends in Barnaul that he could have gone to meet and is confused why he would suddenly disappear since he was on his way home. She also said his voice was strange when they spoke on the phone, and has speculated he could have been drugged by someone.

The actor was described as a dedicated family man to his wife and one-year-old son and rarely touched alcohol and had no gripes or problems with anyone.

Danil Lyapustin


Danil Lyapustin

The actor was described as a dedicated family man to his wife and one-year-old son and rarely touched alcohol and had no gripes or problems with anyone. Pictures: Viktoria Lyapustina

Viktoria said: 'I have not seen a more caring husband and father than Danil. He and our son cooked porridge in the kitchen together and brought me coffee. He loved Krasny Fakel theatre too and always wanted to play there, and never thought about moving to Moscow. His career was on the rise and we dreamed that we would one day have two children.'

Friends and colleagues at the theatre in Novosibirsk also say his actions were out of character. One said: 'There is no apparent explanation for this tragedy. In our theatre, there was no actor with more positive personal characteristics and family life than him. His career was on the up this season and one after another he began to get the big roles and played them brilliantly.'

Danil’s body was transported from Barnaul on Monday and a special farewell service to celebrate his life is planned at the Krasny Fakel theatre for Thursday. A burial will take place in the town of Bedsk, where his brother and grandmother live.

Comments (1)

Vitoria, Did the coroner test Danil's blood before he was laid to rest? I'm an independent freelance reporter and your story caught my attention because I investigate corruption. The police's story does not ring true according to your and his fellow actors' account of his character, actions and personality. God bless you, sweetheart. I pray you find the truth and peace, whatever that may entail. Bless your child, as well. God is good, loving and graceful. I pray you find solace in His love until
You are reunited with your husband. You may reach me at blazem75@gmail.com if you like. Much love, Blaze
Blaze Montgomery, Texas, USA
06/07/2015 23:24
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